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Personal profile

Research interests

My research interests lie in the complex interface between microbes and the host response and how this changes between health and disease status. I hope to better understand bacterial co-infection of respiratory disease, with a translational focus to inform vaccine development.

I’m currently working on the pneumolysin toxin of Streptococcus pneumoniae and investigating iron scavenging mechanisms of methicillin-resistant clinical Staphylococcus aureus strains (with Prof. Ruth Massey). I also have an interest in ventilator-associated and community-acquired pneumonia and I’m involved in a clinical study to elucidate early microbial biomarkers of pneumonia infection.

As a Daphne Jackson Fellow, I retrained in the area of microbial bioinformatics and used this skill to discover microbial signatures in individuals most at risk of respiratory tract infection. We did this by collecting several biological samples over 6 months from participants recruited from GP surgeries around Bristol (with Prof. Alastair Hay). At the University of Cambridge (with Prof. Duncan Maskell) I worked on a farm-to-fork study to understand Campylobacter jejuni expression profiles comparing in vitro vs in vivo models. In the School of Chemistry at the University of Bristol (with Prof. Anthony P Davis) I was part of a team who created a cost-effective device for the rapid detection of contaminated drinking water. My doctorate training was to determine the biochemical pathway of monohalomethane degradation in microaerophilic methylotrophs. 

Overall, I aim to improve vaccines, diagnostics, and treatments by understanding the microbiome of infectious diseases using clinical studies. I’m passionate about science outreach and am an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

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